It is important to do what you love

by Kim on June 25, 2013 · 65 comments

It is 8:32 p.m. on a Wednesday night, so I have been working for 13 hours.

Well, 12. I took a run around the island earlier, and I had a few beers with my husband at sunset. Otherwise, just this: Me, my computer, my notebook, my pen.

Writing at sunset

Writing at sunset2

13 hours of work today and another 13 tomorrow, I’m sure. My hourly wage would be dismal if I had one. I never worked this much when I had a 9-5. I would have been livid if I’d had to keep these hours. I would have bitched and stomped down the hallways and called my manager names.

But here, now, I do not stomp and moan. Even though I do not know if I will reap the benefits of this work. Even though I’m barely scraping by.

I feel like I am blazing, like my fingertips and my toes and the top of my head are on fire. I am writing in the margins, people, filling journals with tornados of thought, burying the white page with the dust storm of my pen.

I am creating and I am being created.

I cannot walk down the road without stopping to write in the notebook I keep in my pocket or, failing pockets, tucked under my arm like an umbrella waiting for rain. It is maddening in the best possible way. The days have never felt shorter. I think to myself, is it time to sleep already? But I still have this to do. And this! And this!

It is important to do what you love. Because if you give this much to something you do not love completely, it will leave you empty and withered and angry, it will strip you bare. But if you give yourself to the thing you love the most, it will fill you full of life. It will pump you up like a balloon and you will grow bigger and bigger and bigger and then you will burst in an explosion of energy and color. You will expand. You will fill the kitchen and leak into the hallway. You will overgrow your office chair. And when you die they will hire a crane to lift you out of the house. You will be so big because every day you gobbled life and every morning you woke up hungry for more.

It is important to do what you love. If you do not feel this way about life, keep searching.

***

Life On Fire ebook coverI wrote a book about how to live your dreams. You can buy it on Amazon for $8.99.

***

email-footer

RELATED POSTS:

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma June 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

This is awesome. And true. I look forward to reading your posts, so even though you might get a crap or non-existent hourly rate, the non-monetary value of your work is immense and inspirational. Thanks.

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Thanks Emma. I love it and love knowing that it matters to others- thanks for your comment!

Reply

Katherine June 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

So what I needed to read this morning. It’s been a rough week at work, and sometimes I forget that I truly love my job. Thank you for the thoughts!

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

It’s such a blessing to do what you love for a living. I’m glad the reminder came when you needed it.

Reply

Maryjean June 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Wow Kim, I love this post. Here’s to hoping I find my passion. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Keep searching, you know? Look, look, look. Look some more.

Reply

Sarah June 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Oh man, thank you for such a phenomenal dose of inspiration. As someone who is not there yet, this is totally the motivation I need to keep trying to get there.
Sarah recently posted..The important work

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Yay for motivation. I hope you can turn to this exactly when you need to hear it.

Reply

Jessica J. Hill June 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Such great advice! I feel the same way, often plugging away hours at my computer and notepad with no for sure money in sight, but I do it because I love it, and I’d do it for free.
Jessica J. Hill recently posted..Learning to Fish in Malaysia by Emily Luxton

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I totally know how that feels. You’d do it for free (and many times you do) not because you even want to do it but because you NEED to. Because you have to.

Reply

Laura June 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thats the only way I’ll “work” is if its something I absolutely love. ha ha. :) Great post.
Laura recently posted..A Quaint Little Town in Pennsylvania

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Then work doesn’t feel too much like work!

Reply

Brendon of Nerd Travels June 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Great advice. I know what you mean. I go everywhere with my notepad and it feels like there is never enough hrs in the day to do everything I want to do. It’s a good feeling though to do something your passionate about :)
Brendon of Nerd Travels recently posted..Banos Bridge Jump & Why I Won’t Be Doing It Again!

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm

It totally is. I love feeling on fire like that… best feeling in the world.

Reply

Luke Perry June 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I truly admire you. I am trying to find my passion. In fact, I quit my job, earned some money and I am going to Costa Rica. I am pretty sure nature is my passion!!!!!!!, thats why I am moving to Costa Rica. I have read a lot about that beautiful country and I am falling in love with it. I found an online travel ageny, trips2costarica.com, and the travel advisor and me have become friends!!!!!!. He just explained me everythingI “should” know.

Thanks for your posts.

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Hi Luke, I’m glad you’ve found your passion. Good luck in Costa Rica.

Reply

Amber June 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I LOVE this! I had a similar situation in Koh Phangan last week where I typed my little fingers off and worked like a dog. In my old life I would have complained up down and sidewise about 12+ hour days several days in a row, including a Saturday and Sunday, but in my new life, even with my dismal hourly rate (which is probably about $.2/hour) I was totally okay with it all! Inspirational!
Amber recently posted..Why Bangkok Intimidates Me

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Amber, I remember you mentioning your long day and it was right after I’d written this post about my own long days… we are definitely on the same page about this one. It feels good, doesn’t it?

Reply

Candace June 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Oh, Kim, you have done it again! Written a post that absolutely nails what life is about right now for us, a post that brings tears to my eyes and makes my soul sigh with contentment. I think about this all the time – about how we’re never really ever *not* working. As a friend of mine recently said, life is work and work is play – all the lines are blurred but beautiful. Thank you for the constant inspiration!
Candace recently posted..beneath the lantern’s glow: introducing the book of travel sketches…and a giveaway!

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Yes! Like one of my favorite Mary Oliver quotes: “I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” Wonderful.

Reply

Maddie June 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Beautifully written post, it’s wonderful that you’ve found what you love to do and were brave enough to go after it 100%. I think we can all agree that you were born to be a writer and it would be a crying shame if you weren’t!!

I’m on the flip side where I’ve never had a burning passion to pursue something like that but I’ve always made sure to clearly separate my work and home life so I have plenty of time to do the things I love to do in my spare time. I’ve never wanted the lines to be blurred between the two but that’s just me.

I guess I’m just grateful we have this choice to make, a lot of people around the world don’t have the same luxury.
Maddie recently posted..A little bit of luxury on Halong Bay

Reply

Kim June 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm

It really does seem that there are two camps. One that want to do what they love as a living, the other that have the living to do what they love. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way, but I do think that everyone should do the thing that fuels them, the thing that they don’t want to ever stop doing. And you’re right, we are so lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love. The only way I can really make sense of this is that there is an added responsibility to really live my dreams, since I’m in such a fortunate position to actually make that possible.

Reply

Noortje June 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Hi Kim!

Thanx for this beautiful written post!

You are so right with your words!

And great to read that you`ve found what you love and that you can do it now!

I already made the first step; I`ve found the things I love and I`m making my next stept right now; I already started traveling around the world to find the right way to do these things.

I`m taking your advices with me in my backpack so I`m looking forward to your next inspiration!
Noortje recently posted..A little walk around Gili Gede

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I think it is a true blessing to know what it is you love, so congrats for finding it and for taking the steps to make it happen.

Reply

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures June 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

Couldn’t agree with you more!!!

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Thanks Andi :)

Reply

Sarah Somewhere June 26, 2013 at 8:19 am

I can feel your passion Kim! You are SUCH a hard worker, and deserve every success that is coming your way! For me its a balancing act, too much of a good thing and it’s no longer a good thing, ya know what I mean? It’s about finding that ‘happy place’ which is about working away at my dreams whilst having faith that whatever path it takes will be right :)
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..This Dress

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Ha, yes, I do know! Always a balancing act- something that I am not always good at finding. I think one important thing is to stay open and aware as our true calling morphs and changes. Nothing stays the same, we need to follow that tread through all of its iterations.

Reply

Carmel June 26, 2013 at 8:28 am

Hooray for Kim! I love that you love what you’re doing. And you’re responsible and resourceful, so I have no doubt that you’ll be able to survive (more likely thrive) doing what you love for a living.

I think I’m with Maddie on this one for myself, though. I don’t know if there’s anything I’m so passionate about that I could do it all day every day. I have too many interests, too many loves. I just hope to piece something together that makes me happy.

Beautifully written, yet again.
Carmel recently posted..STOP COLLECTING, START EXPERIENCING

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Well, hopefully you feel that way about traveling :) You’re about to do one thing you love… so I think you are living this too.

Reply

Therese June 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

Hell yes. Thanks, Kim.

I feel ya. :)

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I KNOW you feel me, Therese.

Reply

Lauren June 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

This is absolutely beautiful. Wow….

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Thanks Lauren. We get to see you so soon!

Reply

Lauren June 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply

Deborah June 26, 2013 at 11:46 am

You know I always love your posts, Kim. But this one is striking such a chord that I have read it four times already today (that’s about once an hour!) and shared it with two of my nearest and dearest on Facebook. I’m so glad you’re doing what you love to do and sharing it with the world!

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Thank you Deb :) And thanks for sharing your friend’s post with me- how inspiring.

Reply

Darcy @SustainableFamilyFinances June 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I’m soooo sorry I missed you yesterday…I imagine it’s pretty surreal to take a peak at your “old life”…I hope the culture shock and jetlag have worn off enough for you to fully enjoy your brief time in Portland.
Darcy @SustainableFamilyFinances recently posted..Sugar Daddy Budget Comparison

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Thanks Darcy. It’s been interesting adjusting back to life in Portland. It’s been mostly good but also… strange. I still can’t really wrap my mind around it. Wish I would have had the chance to see you.

Reply

Miriam June 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Kim – first of all, thank you for writing this piece and sharing it with us. “I am creating and being created” – profoundly true, profoundly beautiful. Deeply resonates with my own experiences over the last year or so.

Also, I hear you about returning to life in Portland. We’ve been “back” in PDX for over a year now, and strange and surreal are both good words. I may just have to send you an email on this topic :)

Reply

Kim June 28, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Miriam, we are back in PDX and in the U.S. We’ll be here for four months (in the U.S., mostly in Ohio) and then we are setting back out again. It has been a strange transition, even though we know we will be heading back out on the road again. In some ways, it has been strange in it’s un-strangeness… I don’t know if that makes sense. I would love to hear from you via email! I think I am going to give myself a few hours to just sit down and write about this today, try to process my thoughts.

Reply

Hogga June 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

so true. love it!

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Thanks Lindsay!

Reply

Emily June 26, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I love your advice to keep searching. When I first started working after University I would get so frustrated and demotivated, but unlike others who resigned themselves to that state, I kept looking for that something that would make me fulfilled and happier. My current job has me way busier than I ever had been in previous positions, but since it is something more aligned with the real ‘me’ I am completely happy – not caring when weekends, evenings or 13 hour days occur. The revelation that I wasn’t stuck and that I could actual do what I love has been a game changer; now I don’t think I will ever stop searching for more ways to enrich my life.
Emily recently posted..Calgary flooding

Reply

Kim June 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm

WONDERFUL! That is exactly what I’m talking about. It doesn’t have to be a certain thing- you don’t need to find that ONE THING. For me, it’s writing, but that can manifest in so many ways. The point is to do the thing that fills you and if you don’t have a thing that fills you to search until you do.

Reply

leeann June 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

thanks for the post, I am sitting in an office enviroment working long hours where you only get ahead based on your age, colour of your hair, sex appeal and ability to back stab. Knowing that the money I am saving will achieve my dream keeps me going.

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

Just keep your eye on the prize, Leeann.

Reply

Turner June 26, 2013 at 9:19 pm

I’m searching…

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

:) So glad.

Reply

Tracey June 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

So true! Some days lately, I question my sanity because of my happiness despite my financial stresses. Again, thank you for your perspective Kim. I am living life on my terms, doing what I love, debt be damned! Maybe I’m not crazy:)
Tracey recently posted..Slaying My Evil Demon Fear Dragon

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

I don’t think you’re crazy, I think you’ve got something right! :)

Reply

TammyOnTheMove June 27, 2013 at 1:23 am

It is so strange: when I was in my old 9-5 job in London, days never went buy and I kept staring at my watch only to be utterly disappointed when only another 10 minutes went past. Now a whole day goes by so quickly. When I look at my watch now I am surprised that it is already 5pm and I need to go home. I don’t think I could ever go back to my old life again. Once you have found your passion, and for me it is working in international development and blogging, it is very hard to leave that behind.
TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Flashback Friday: The time my bum went numb

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 8:28 am

I absolutely agree with you. Once you find that thing that fills you, everything else feels off the table.

Reply

Claire June 27, 2013 at 8:46 am

What a beautiful post. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read something so positive about searching for the thing you love. I’m in the middle of saving up to travel and this is wonderful.
Thanks!

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

Hi Claire, you are welcome! I’m so glad it came at the right time :)

Reply

Lize-Mare' Le Roux June 27, 2013 at 8:46 am

I love this! Thanks for writing this

Reply

Kim June 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

My pleasure. Thank you for reading!

Reply

Jade June 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

This was so inspirational to read. How incredible for you to have found something that truly makes your happy! I so hope that writing becomes this for me… I want to be as big as a house!

Reply

Kim June 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Ha, as big as a house! I love it. Here’s to hoping we all become as big as houses.

Reply

Bhavini June 29, 2013 at 12:21 am

That is what once I wrote while writing my diary. We should do that work which we would be ready to do for free. This is what you are here for and this will bring the contentment you will keep on looking for otherwise. Great Post Kim :)

Reply

Kim June 29, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks Bhavini. That’s the goal. Find what you love and then figure out how to get paid to do it :)

Reply

Franca June 29, 2013 at 6:00 am

So true! Never stop searching, keep looking for what you really love until you find it. When that happens you won’t mind putting all your energies into it.
Great post!
Franca recently posted..The Question Everyone Is Asking – Where To Next?

Reply

Kim June 29, 2013 at 9:27 am

Thanks Franca.

Reply

Oliver January 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

The concluding sentence is remarkable! We tend to make a living rather than making a life. It can be sort of a tightrope walk at times but in the end we should do the things we love instead of trying to like the things we do – daring to be happy…
Oliver recently posted..What if money was no object ~ Alan Watts

Reply

Kim January 18, 2014 at 4:30 am

Thanks Oliver. Absolutely agree that we tend to make a living but not a life… but why can’t we do both?! (We can!).

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge